OC Night Market
If you’re searching for a late night bite, the OC Night Market offers a variety of unique, Asian delicacies that will not fail to satisfy all your food cravings.
The tri-annual Night Market makes its appearance on three separate weekends during the summer months at the OC Fairgrounds, bringing with it long lines for authentic cuisine and merchandise from over 140 vendors. The outdoor Asian bazaar provides a lively, social experience complete with music and good vibes, and is a welcome change from the typical normal dine-in restaurants in Irvine.
“The atmosphere of OC Night Market really encompassed the Asian night life with its party and festival-like environment, but the event also embraced the American culture with a huge melting pot of different cuisines from multiple countries,” junior Irene Fu said.
Popular and innovative foods range from milk tea in light bulb shaped jars from Urban Location to taro ice cream tacos topped with edible gold leaf from The Milky Way to giant fried monster squid from Bombing Giant Squid, all of which are aesthetic enough to be featured on your Instagram or Snapchat.
But good eats were not the only thing the Night Market had to offer. Every night, the mainstage showcased local talent, with the 4th Horizon Dance Competition on May 20 being the featured event of the first weekend. Ten dance crews battled it out for a grand prize of $1000, which was awarded to Millennium Dance Crew.
“Everyone at the Horizon Dance Competition was incredibly talented,” sophomore Issa Wen said. “All the teams were so synchronized, and they went all out. They left everything on the dance floor.”
Other attractions included a McDonald’s pop-up where lucky visitors got the opportunity to win free food and discounts, a GameTruck with an arcade with a wide selection of video games and several carnival games to test your throwing ability. Merchandise vendors created and sold original works of art, while arts & craft vendors offered intricate henna designs, handmade jewelry and fragrant perfumes.
Inspired by the night markets of Taiwan, the OC Night Market was created in 2014 by the 626 Night Market in Arcadia as part of their mission to encourage and “provide a platform for local and small businesses.”
Regardless of who you are, the nocturnal energy and festivities of the OC Night Market will ensure you have a phenomenal time after the sun sets. And if you missed the OC Night Market’s first weekend in May, don’t fret, for you can take advantage of the extravaganza again from June 16-18 and Aug. 25-27, with admissions starting at $5.